In this special extended mega-installment of Essential Gear, we look at last-minute gift ideas for the filmmaker friends in your life. (Maybe that filmmaker is you.) We’ve kept the prices down this time around — you won’t find anything selling for more than $450 on this list, and most items go for less than half that. Full disclosure: we stole a bunch of these ideas from Adorama’s Alex DePew, whose great Best Gifts for Filmmakers This Holiday Season may give you a few more tips. But we’ve also added a few affordable items that impressed our reviewers recently for your consideration.
For more ideas, check out Essential Gear: Gifts for Filmmakers (Part 1)!
As usual, if you use the included affiliate links to shop with our friends at Adorama, your orders help support StudioDaily.
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Seagate Expansion Desktop External Hard Drive
Sooner or later, everyone can use a few extra TB of basic back-up storage. These Seagate drives come in a variety of configurations starting at a mere 4 TB, but we don’t see any good reason not to shell out for the 10 TB version, which is surprisingly affordable these days.
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LaCie Rugged USB-C 3.0 5TB External Hard Drive
Simply put, a classic. LaCie’s ubiquitous Rugged drive is a bus-powered HDD, now with a USB-C connector (a USB 3.0 adapter is included), that’s perfect for schlepping important files from place to place. The familiar orange shell is a nice design touch, but, best of all, it helps ensure that these things just bounce when you drop ’em, and your files are no worse for wear.
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Sony ECM-44 Omni-Directional Electret Condenser Lavalier Microphone
Everyone should have a basic go-to lavalier in their camera bag. Yes, it’s wired. Yes, it requires a AA battery for power. But that just makes it all the more reliable, easy to use and inexpensive.
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Deity Microphones S-Mic 2 Supercardioid Shotgun Mic with Location Kit
Our reviewer was astonished at the pure audio quality of this affordable shotgun mic, concluding that its performance rivaled that of more expensive units. The location kit linked here — which is highly recommended unless you already have a Rycote mount — includes a Rycote InVision Softie Lyre Mount with pistol grip and a wind-jammer.
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Azden Pro-XR 2.4 GHz Digital Wireless Microphone System
We didn’t like Azden’s Pro-XD wireless audio system, which performed way below our expectations in real-world scenarios. Happily, the new Pro-XR is a better system that addresses our complaints and remains quite affordable. It’s a nice audio set-up for DSLR shooters, among others.
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Padcaster Verse Mobile Media Kit
Padcaster is the first name in tablet and smartphone camera rigs, and this versatile kit provides everything a filmmaker needs to turn a mobile device into a viable camera system. It’s not especially fancy, but it’s easy to carry and it gets the job done. If you’re shooting with a real camera, you’ll want high-end gear. But if you’re shooting with your phone or an iPad, the inventive Padcaster Verse fits the bill.
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Padcaster Parrot Portable Smartphone Teleprompter V2 Kit
OK, maybe you’re not going to shoot your next project with your smartphone. But what else can the computer-and-mini-display in your pocket do for you? Can it be used as the display in a teleprompter kit? Yep. Padcaster’s Teleprompter kit lets you slide your smartphone, running the free Parrot app or another teleprompter app, into the bottom part of a 30R/70T beamsplitter. An array of mounting rings are included to fit different camera system lens filter threads. (Some cameras may require a step-up adapter.) It comes with a Bluetooth remote and glass cleaning kit.
Learn more about the Padcaster Parrot Portable Smartphone Teleprompter V2 Kit at Adorama | SHOP NOW